Friday, October 26, 2018

In Times Like These book 1 by Nathan Van Coops

Author: Nathan Van Coops

Narrator: Neil Hellegers

Series: In Times Like These, Book 1

Publisher: Skylighter Press

Released: Sep. 12, 2016

Length: 13 hours 47 minutes

Genre: Science Fiction; Time Travel


They have a dangerous past. They just haven't lived it yet.

"We broke something. How do you break time? Can something so bad happen that you fracture the world?"

Benjamin Travers has been electrocuted. What's worse, he and his friends have woken up in the past. As the friends search for a way home, they realize they're not alone. There are other time travelers, and some of them are turning up dead. When Ben meets an enigmatic scientist and his charming, time-traveling daughter, salvation seems at hand, but escaping the dangers of the past may lead to a deadly future. If he hopes to save his friends, Ben must learn to master space and time, and survive a journey where past and future violently collide.

Action heats up in this first book of the time travel adventure series.
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Nathan Van Coops lives in St. Petersburg Florida on a diet comprised mainly of tacos. He enjoys old planes, motorcycles, and Volkswagens; and contends that there is such a thing as “dressy” flip-flops. He is the author of three time travel adventure novels: In Times Like These, The Chronothon, and The Day After Never. You can also check out his sci-fi sky pirate adventure, Faster Than Falling.
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Narrator Bio


Neil hails from the green hills and not-so-busy streets of River Vale, NJ, where he divided his time between theatre, literature, percussion, and policy debate. He is happy to note that he has managed to maintain this balance for the entirety of his adult life.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, PA, with a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a Minor in Psychology, Neil acquired a M.F.A in Acting from the Trinity Rep Conservatory, in Providence, RI. He returned to NYC in 2003, and, since then, has made a career of theatrical performance, percussion, theatre education, and audiobook narration, and is currently living in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife, rambunctious son, and their mutt!

Starting his professional acting career working at festivals and and international tours performing Shakespeare opened his mind to the sweeping potential of theatre in performance to inspire and delight, a sensibility he has carried into contemporary theatre, new play workshops, film, TV and commercial work, and audiobook narration. Neil also has sought and developed educational opportunities, considering teaching as a means of advancing the craft of both student and teacher, and also a vehicle for social and political change. Neil has played drums in a wide variety of bands and musical groups, from punk, to prog, to jazz, to folk, and in theatrical performance, most notably for the Philly-based-90s-progressive-instrumental-rock-band, Lexicon.

As an audiobook narrator, Neil specializes in fiction, genre and non. A voracious reader of science fiction and fantasy, Neil strives to bring the same thrill of the possible to the actual, with non-fiction ranging from self-help both spiritual and practical, history, and cultural studies. Recording at home from a Studiobricks One Plus, he is an Audible Approved Producer, and has worked for numerous publishers, including Tantor Media, Penguin Random House Audio, Blackstone Audio, Audible Studios, Deyan Audio, Spoken Realms, and more. He is a proud member of SAG AFTRA.

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Q&A with Author Nathan Van Coops
  • Was a possible audiobook recording something you were conscious of while writing?
    • It didn’t used to be. But now Neil has become such an integral part of the process that I factor his accent abilities and narrative style into the characters I create. It also influences word choices and word combinations. Sometimes as writers we think about the way words look on a page but not the fact that they might be tongue twisters for the narrator to say. I once got an email from Neil that was only two lines.
      "tarnished brass backsplash" You bastard. :)
      We got a good laugh out of it. He said it only took three tries to get it recorded which was impressive.
  • Are you an audiobook listener? What about the audiobook format appeals to you? 
    • I’m definitely an audiobook listener. I used to do a lot more reading of print books but since I’m on the go so often, audio has really helped me to keep up with my reading. I think the performance of a great narrator can add so much life to a book. I even love hearing my own books in audio because even though I wrote the book, it feels like a new experience!
  • Is there a particular part of this story that you feel is more resonating in the audiobook performance than in the book format?
    • There is one particular scene in The Chronothon where the main character Ben is speaking inside of a space helmet. Neil managed to actually make it sound like he was speaking through a transmitter of some kind. I was really impressed. That sort of skill can go a long way to transporting you into a scene as the listener. I love being transported as the reader and feel like I am living the adventure. That’s partly why I wrote In Times Like These in first person. Anything that can put me closer to the action is great. Good narration does that.
  • If you had the power to time travel, would you use it? If yes, when and where would you go? 
    • I would absolutely use it. First stop would be to meet my dad when he was still alive. He passed away when I was a child before I could make any of my own memories of him. It would be great to have a conversation with him. After that I would be off to see the future. I’d love to see where the world is headed in terms of technology and how we solve a lot of the problems we have today. If a person from two-hundred years ago were to arrive in our time, I think they would be absolutely astounded by the progress we’ve made. I would like to experience that feeling for myself.
  • In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of writing a stand-alone novel vs. writing a series? 
    • Stand-alones are great for people like me who don’t tend to have the time to dive into long series. I like the satisfaction of reading a book and knowing the story is done. On the other hand, if someone really falls in love with characters, it’s so nice to be able to continue to share their world. As an author, I definitely recommend writing in series, but I tend to write each book within a series as a stand-alone adventure, that way the reader can walk away feeling satisfied with the resolution at each stage. I never want my readers to feel tricked or shortchanged. There’s nothing worse than investing your time into a book or series that fails to pay off on the expectations set up in the writing. Whether in series or as stand-alones, I work hard to make sure that anyone who reads one of my books feels like they have gotten a lot of adventure for their time.
  • What's your favorite:
    • Food: Tacos. Was there any question?
    • Song: In My Life by The Beatles
    • Book: The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende
    • Television show: Tough one! I don’t watch a lot of TV. I was big fan of Community while it was on. The first paintball episode was the best thing ever. Lately I’ve been enjoying The Good Place for a laugh.
    • Movie: So difficult to choose. I like Christopher Nolan’s style of filmmaking. The Dark Knight is near the top of my list. I also love Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Scott Pilgtim vs The World, and a dozen other titles I could easily try and fail to fit in my top 5. I just love movies.
    • Band: Beatles for sure, though my first love in music and my first concert was They Might Be Giants. Still a fan.
    • Sports team: Tampa Bay Rays. We’re not great but I have to root for the home team.
    • City: Saint Petersburg! I love my city. Gets better every year I’ve lived here.
  • Are any of those things referenced in appearance in your work?
    • Absolutely. Saint Petersburg features heavily as it is also Ben Travers’ hometown. There are more than a few of my real life favorite spots that make cameo appearances in the books, including taco shops, gelato places, and even the Rays Stadium, Tropicana Field.
  • What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors? 
    • Consistency pays off. Unfortunately, there’s no shortcut to success. It may take you five years. It may take you ten. But if you keep at it, the results show. Book by book you learn the craft and how to market. It’s not a sexy answer but it’s true. You just have to keep at it. As long as you’re having fun, it’s not going to feel like work. Time flies so you may as well be writing. One day you will look back in awe at all that you have accomplished. It feels great.
  • Do you have any tips for authors going through the process of turning their books into audiobooks?
    • Your choice of narrator is huge. Take the time to get good auditions. Pay outright. Royalty-share is an option but I recommend keeping your rights in your hands. If you have a free Kindle book on Amazon, make sure it has an audiobook! It will be your biggest seller in audio.
  • What’s next for you? 
    • I’m having a blast working on my latest series, The Skylighter Adventures. It’s a steampunk, sky pirate adventure featuring the very talented Jayme Mattler as narrator. If you like adventure stories, I highly recommend her performance. Can’t wait to hear the rest of the series come to life in audio. After that I’m brimming with new ideas and also ways to continue the In Times Like These series. So many books to write! Wish I had started sooner. If only I could time travel....
Q&A with Protagonist Ben Travers
  • Today we are sitting down with time traveler Ben Travers. Ben, how are you liking 2018?
    • Ben: It’s no a bad year overall. I have been living in 2009 until recently so it’s amazing to see all the changes that happened in under a decade. Lots more craft breweries in town all of a sudden. Beards came back in a huge way, tattoo sleeves also. These are all things that 2009 was definitely missing. It’s fun seeing the way the city has grown, but the Rays made the World Series in 2008. Still wishing that would happen again. Have to wait for next decade.
  • You’ve been a time traveler now for quite a while. How is it affecting your day to day?
    • Ben: It’s an amazing adventure. It’s got its hazards of course, but the payoffs are big. Did you know that you can get food delivered by time travel in the mid 22nd century? It’s a big financial win being a time traveler as well. I don’t have to worry about money anymore. People think it’s all about winning bets at racetracks or winning the lottery but it’s much easier than all that. Stock market is a pretty sure bet but you can even save on little things. I heard they just raised the price of stamps again this year. I can get you rolls of Forever Stamps from 2007 and save you tons of cash. At least for as long as the Post Office stays a thing.
  • What’s your favorite place you’ve visited as a time traveler?
    • Ben: Hard to choose. I’ve seen a lot, even outer space. A little too much of that actually. I’ve really enjoyed checking out the future, seeing how connected everyone becomes once the metaspace becomes a reality. People being able to communicate easily without language barriers is amazing, and of course AI persons are incredible to talk to. I’ll still always have a soft spot for the past, though. There’s something to be said for understanding how to disconnect and just be yourself in a wild and beautiful world.
  • What is something that has surprised you about the past or future?
    • Ben: How similar we all are. We think we are different and that the problems we are facing in any given present are the most important and most unique ones. When you time travel you realize that each generation goes through the same basic struggles of transitioning from child to parent to grandparent etc. It’s been going on and will keep going on. We just express it differently over the years. We all live the same journey no matter which century it’s in and no matter if we actually have children or not. It’s the same journey we’ve all been on as a species for a hundred thousand years. Once you see the big picture it becomes a lot easier to step in and out of different times and to always be able to relate to people at a level we all experience.
  • What’s your favorite thing about time travel?
    • Ben: Cheating death. Not personally. You still have to die eventually but death loses a lot of its sting when you realize it’s just the last page of a book. With time travel you can reopen someone’s book and pop back to say hi anytime you like. All of us who have gotten to be alive are part of this indelible fabric of the universe now. We can never be erased. I think that’s pretty cool. It’s nice to know that anyone who ever lived or will live is out there right now if I want to go visit. They’re just around the bend. Makes you really appreciate what a gift this all is.
  • What’s your best advice for non-time travelers?
    • Ben: Pay attention to the year you are in and remember it. Some time travelers would pay big bucks to come visit the time you are in right now. It may not seem like much since you are in it and don’t have any other options, but one day you will look back on today and wish you could visit again. Time traveler or not, today is the youngest you’ll ever be for the rest of your life. And if you’ve made it this far, you are out of reach of the past. Every day you wake up can be the start of something new and good. Time really is the most precious thing we have. Don’t waste it by being anything other than your best self.
BOOK ONE

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BOOK TWO

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